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Monday, September 26, 2005 

Greed: 401k

Nevermind the lefty slant in this article (it is the Star/Tibune afterall), its premise is worth attention.

Plenty of Americans are fumbling their 401(k)s. And as the accounts have come to replace old-style pensions, the small balances signal that Americans are off to a poor start in taking charge of their own retirements.
I am not that old yet, but I am on the back end of the “baby boom”, you know, the group that is going to be COMPLETELY BONED by “Social Security”. I fear for my peers because most of them believe that “Social Security” will be there for them when they retire. The back end boomers will be left out in the cold after a lifetime of the Feds promising that “Social Security” will be “Strong and Safe”. With this “promise” in their minds, they are clearly not taking their 401k or other retirement plans seriously. We back end boomers are in for a very rude awakening when the front end boomers suck away so much Federal Budget for “Social Security” benefits that Congress will be forced into making deep cuts in benefits to everyone not yet retired (and maybe current retirees). From the looks of this article, it looks like it’s going to be a very hard landing for lots of people when “Social Security” fails.

Think about your future, people! Are you really content to place your future in the hands of Congress? Look at the lives of older Americans now, they mostly vote in a bloc to protect their Government checks, paltry as they are. They have been placed in a position to steal from their children and grandchildren just to feed themselves. This is why we still have “Big Government”; the system creates more and more voters that rely on the Government for their very lives. They are motivated to go and vote, against the common good, for “Big Government”. How many times have we seen politicians use this club to beat the heads of older voters? “[insert opponent here] will cut your Social Security, if elected. I promise to keep it Strong and Safe”. Both parties are guilty of this, a pox on both houses.

With the boomers starting to enter this demographic, the trend is only going to worsen.

Anyone that knows me in my real life knows that I am a HUGE advocate for young people getting into the 401k game as soon as possible. (right Nick? prod) This is the rare topic I never joke about. Start early and contribute often is the best advice I can think of for young people. I take every chance I get to impress the importance of planning for retirement on anyone, especially new, young hires. The earlier you start and the harder you hit it, the better off you will be when you retire. It’s pretty simple, but so many just don’t get it.

The Feds have even made the 401k deal sweeter for young people, with FREE MONEY. They are giving a tax credit to lower income (i.e.younger) people that is worth up to $1000. That is a tax credit, not a deduction, this is money subtracted from the tax you owe, not from your taxable income. Come on people, you aren’t going to pass up FREE money from “da gov’ment”, are you?

Don't be a chump! Get you 401k in order or open an IRA today!

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